The Model Railway Show – Episode 0050

This episode of The Model Railway Show is made possible with the support of the National Model Railroad Association.

Future champions of the hobby

In this episodeā€¦

Joel Priest, NMRA MMR 503.
Greg Amer, layout builder.

Master Model Railroader

Earlier this year, Joel Priest joined a select group of hobbyists, as he completed the requirements to earn his Master Model Railroader designation – the highest accolade awarded by the National Model Railroad Association.

It’s an an outstanding achievement for anybody in the hobby, but what makes Joel’s story most remarkable is that he accomplished this feat before his 13th birthday – making him the youngest MMR in the NMRA’s long history.

Joel joins Jim to explain how he earned MMR 503 by working on his layout – a tribute to Allen McCelland‘s Virginian & Ohio. He explains what the process taught him about the hobby, and about himself. And he offers suggestions to others who might want to pursue their Master Model Railroader through the NMRA’s achievement program.

Let the kids eat at the adult table

Many hobbyists would call Greg Amer a very brave man. That’s because Greg – a locomotive engineer for BNSF who is building a sophisticated switching layout based on his day job – is determined to involve his two young sons Patrick and Lorenzo. (We call that “Being a Great Dad”!)

As Greg notes on his layout blog, “My personal goal for this layout is to keep my boys interested in trains. I want them participate in construction and operations. Much will be beyond their skill level, so it will be a learning process.”

Greg joins Trevor to describe some of the challenges of mixing a high-quality layout and two young helpers, how he’s using the layout to teach the kids important lessons and how they overcome practical considerations such as building a layout that’s taller than the kids.

Greg shares ideas for giving kids a sense of ownership and explains why it’s important to him to work on this very grown-up project with his kids.

Make plans to attend the 10th annual Rails in the Garden Tour in Tucson, Arizona – March 2-3!

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Episode 50 (mp3)

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Next time on The Model Railway Show:

Trevor talks to layout designer Scott Perry about an alternative to the 4×8 foot beginner’s layout.

Jim speaks with Lynn Mitchell from Woodland Scenics.

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